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Evaluation of plasma fibrinogen concentration as a diagnostic indicator of inflammation in red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans)

A Russell Moore DVM, MS1, Matthew C. Allender DVM, PhD2, Mark A. Mitchell DVM, PhD3, and Amy L. MacNeill DVM, PhD4
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  • 1 Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.
  • | 2 Department of Comparative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.
  • | 4 Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.

Abstract

Objective—To critically evaluate plasma fibrinogen concentration as a diagnostic indicator of inflammation in red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans).

Design—Prospective induced-disease model and prospective cross-sectional study.

Sample—Plasma samples from 12 purpose-bred red-eared sliders and 153 farm-raised red-eared sliders.

Procedures—A modification of the Jacobsson method was developed to measure fibrinogen concentration in platelet-poor plasma from red-eared sliders. Purpose-bred turtles had been inoculated with a ranavirus (n = 4) or sterile PBS solution (8) as part of another study. Farm-raised red-eared sliders were categorized as healthy (n = 138) or overtly ill (15) on the basis of physical examination findings at the time of blood sample collection. Samples from 124 of the 138 healthy red-eared sliders were used to establish a fibrinogen concentration reference interval as measured by the modified Jacobsson method. Fibrinogen concentrations in ranavirus-infected and physically ill turtles were compared with those of healthy turtles to determine whether fibrinogen concentration would be a useful diagnostic indicator of inflammation in red-eared sliders.

Results—The modified Jacobsson method was reliably used to measure fibrinogen concentration. The fibrinogen concentration reference interval from healthy reproductively active female red-eared sliders was right skewed. Fibrinogen concentration did not differ significantly between healthy red-eared sliders and ranavirus-infected or overtly ill red-eared sliders.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A reference interval for red-eared slider plasma fibrinogen concentration was established and partitioned by sex to account for considerable right skewing observed for females. Fibrinogen concentration was not a useful indicator of inflammation in red-eared sliders with ranavirus infection or other overt illnesses.

Abstract

Objective—To critically evaluate plasma fibrinogen concentration as a diagnostic indicator of inflammation in red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans).

Design—Prospective induced-disease model and prospective cross-sectional study.

Sample—Plasma samples from 12 purpose-bred red-eared sliders and 153 farm-raised red-eared sliders.

Procedures—A modification of the Jacobsson method was developed to measure fibrinogen concentration in platelet-poor plasma from red-eared sliders. Purpose-bred turtles had been inoculated with a ranavirus (n = 4) or sterile PBS solution (8) as part of another study. Farm-raised red-eared sliders were categorized as healthy (n = 138) or overtly ill (15) on the basis of physical examination findings at the time of blood sample collection. Samples from 124 of the 138 healthy red-eared sliders were used to establish a fibrinogen concentration reference interval as measured by the modified Jacobsson method. Fibrinogen concentrations in ranavirus-infected and physically ill turtles were compared with those of healthy turtles to determine whether fibrinogen concentration would be a useful diagnostic indicator of inflammation in red-eared sliders.

Results—The modified Jacobsson method was reliably used to measure fibrinogen concentration. The fibrinogen concentration reference interval from healthy reproductively active female red-eared sliders was right skewed. Fibrinogen concentration did not differ significantly between healthy red-eared sliders and ranavirus-infected or overtly ill red-eared sliders.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A reference interval for red-eared slider plasma fibrinogen concentration was established and partitioned by sex to account for considerable right skewing observed for females. Fibrinogen concentration was not a useful indicator of inflammation in red-eared sliders with ranavirus infection or other overt illnesses.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Moore's and Dr. MacNeill's present address is Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

Diagnostica Stago provided the fibrinogen test kits, including the fibrinogen reagent used in this study.

The authors thank George White and Eddie Jolly for allowing us to collect plasma from their farm-raised red-eared sliders and Drs. Peter Yau and Brian Imai for analyses of the liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry data.

Address correspondence to Dr. MacNeill (amy.macneill@colostate.edu).